Skip main navigation

Developing a Maker Network

When creating a makerspace, it’s important to develop a network of people with a range of skills and expertise to support you. This network should be as diverse as possible in order to broaden the types of activities you can offer.
A mess of wires
© The University of Sheffield

When creating a makerspace, it’s important to develop a network of people with a range of skills and expertise to support you. This network should be as diverse as possible in order to broaden the types of activities you can offer.

How to Develop Your Maker Network

Identify makers in your local community

There may be makers who use local hackspaces or FabLabs who would be pleased to support your initiative.

You might find some inspiration and contacts here:

Ask your colleagues if they have any skills they wish to share

Ask your colleagues if they have any skills they wish to share. If you work in a school, library or museum, you could circulate a message asking people if they would like to support your maker initiative by sharing their own skills.

You never know, you may have colleagues who are experts in woodwork, electronics, sewing and so on, who would be glad to join your makers network.

Organise a meeting for local people interested in making

Organise a meeting of people interested in making in your town, city or region. Use social media to advertise a ‘teach meet’, ‘library meet’ or ‘museum meet’ – that is, an informal meeting in which practitioners who work in a particular field can share ideas and support each others’ practice.

STEM Ambassadors may be able to support you in extending your maker snetwork in specialist areas such as computing, robotics and electronics.

If you are in the UK, you can find local STEM Ambassdors using the STEM learning UK resource.

If you don’t have such a network in the country in which you live, you could contact local university Engineering departments to ask if undergraduate students would be willing to undertake this role.

Visit a maker faire

Reaching out to other makers is often a successful way to create maker networks and broaden the expertise available to you. Makers are, traditionally, people who love to share their craft and expertise with others, as anyone who has visited a maker faire will know.

Go along to a maker faire near you and see if you can find people in your locality who could support your work!

What do you think?
Which of these approaches to developing your maker network might you try?
© The University of Sheffield
This article is from the free online

Makerspaces for Creative Learning

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education